Meanwhile, back at the farm…

The last of the little things I found in the bag of Mother’s stuff. First, two little bunnies.

I’m not sure why she held on to these. Did she think they were sweet? I keep so much stuff of my own for purely sentimental reasons. My intuition tells me someone gave these to her.

She also had these. Did she paint them? Buy them? Receive them?

All bunnies and chickens have joined the space in my curio cabinet set aside for the barnyard. Thus they are with these two.

My late friend Jeff liked chickens, and I painted these for him during what I call the Ceramic Years (they fell between the Painted T-Shirt Years and the Resurgence of Mattel: 1990s Version). Shortly before he died, when I was fired as his friend, he returned almost everything I’d given to him. Time heals–it did long ago–and these little reminders of the vagaries of friendship only make me smile now.

Another reminder: The bin of Jeff stuff has been set aside as the next to be purged. I suspect I’ll get a blog post or two out of that.

It’s in the bag

Another set of tiny things I found in the bin with Mother’s stuff was her collection of thimbles. I actually thought I gave these away after she died, so it was a surprise to see them. Debby said she remembers Mother buying some at antique stores, and I’m betting many of them came from various friends and from us. Maybe one of her great-grandkids will like sewing, so I’ll know who to give them to one day.

Hands down, my favorite is on the far left, a roadrunner behind a cactus. Clearly more decorative than a working thimble. I wonder if she picked that one up when she and Daddy traveled in the RV out west with Aunt Arliss and Uncle Roy Jr. Arliss was six years older than Mother, but outlived her by six years. Whenever they were together, they acted like girls, and there would be whoops of laughter as they reminisced or navigated the challenges of aging.

Conquistador, your stallion stands…

In the purge of the carport bins, one of the first I went through was stuff I packed after my mother died. Debby was going to visit family, and I knew there were some University of Alabama sweatshirts and T-shirts her daughters and granddaughters might want, so I sent those with her, along with a sweater her daughter Gina took. Another sweater went to Lindsey, which makes me happy because Lindsey and Mother were buddies and fellow clean freaks.

I also found a bag of tiny things, including these miniatures. I have no idea where Mother got these or why, and it amuses me that if I search online, I can find them listed as being both Roman and Aztec. I’m going with Aztec/Spanish.

Regrettably, that resulted in this earworm and the most determinedly literal video of a song ever. The Internet: I think I’ll keep it.


Here you go, Lynne. I found it where I hoped it was.

This is a quilt Mother made in the early 1980s. Many of us signed squares for her. Some drew pictures. She embroidered those pictures and signatures to make them permanent–in some cases more permanent than the people who were part of our lives in those years. I’ll probably photograph individual squares of this and post them over time. But not all of them because it’s good to let sleeping dogs lie (thought not on this quilt!).


Tom has a knack for finding random things on the ground and making them into little gifts. Usually they’re something from nature. But a tiny toy is always welcome.

Today is my mother’s birthday. She’d have been 91. That astonishes me. I have stories of her from every age, including her childhood during the Depression. Her great joy was being able to go to a Shirley Temple movie with her brother for a nickel. Toys were things she and her six brothers and five sisters made out of whatever they could find. A stick became a sword for a fencing match. A scrap of fabric and some straw became a doll. They hung vines from trees to swing on and play Tarzan.

I’ll bet something like this little guy, dropped in a parking lot and left behind, would have been a treasure to them.

Related: Happy birthday, Timmy! A treasure to all who know you.